JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Contestants in Clinton's version of NBC's "Biggest Loser" weight loss competition continued to exercise their way to slimmer waistlines Thursday morning at the Baptist Healthplex in Clinton.
Eric Jonkman, Angela Thompson and Mary Ann Stotts are three of the competition's top contenders.
"It's neck and neck," said Jonkman.
"Spring break... Here we go!" laughed Stotts.
16 contestants have battled it out to lose the highest percentage of body weight and to win a prize.
One of the youngest competitors, 31-year-old Jonkman, had been in the lead since the beginning, inspired by his own version of a personal trainer.
"My son Aiden doesn't let me sit down and rest and relax like I want every night. He keeps saying, come on Dad, you need to go running. You need to exercise!" said Jonkman.
But,, with a young son in the same class as Jonkman's, Angela Thompson has crept up from behind.
"Aiden asks me almost every day how it's going and has Trent's mom beat me yet. He knows she's gonna get ahead of me," said Jonkman.
And, after Thursday's weigh-in, Thompson was in the lead by seven-tenths of a percent.
"I just want to work hard every week and hope for the best," said Thompson.
Then there's Stotts, who was shocked to find out she was in last week's top three, but as of Thursday, she ranked fourth.
"When I came into the program, and I looked across the room, I thought, oh, this is going to be good, I'm the oldest one here," said Stotts.
But, as she started seeing her progress, she learned an important lesson.
"Age has nothing to do with it. It's what you're doing with your body that makes a difference in how you feel," said Stotts.
Sponsored by the Clinton Public School District, the program has also made a big difference for the contestants' children and students.
"They really do watch every move their parents make, every move their teachers make. We all model in front of our children, and because childhood obesity's such a problem in this state, we must take a lesson from that," said Vickie Mascagni, R. D., program dietitian.
The 12-week contest is currently in it's seventh week. A winner will be announced April 24th.
WLBT will continue to keep you updated on the contestant's progress each week.
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